ORLANDO, Fla. – With spring break approaching, the University of Central Florida is urging students to use caution when traveling as coronavirus continues to spread both locally and abroad.
The school issued a memo Friday, just days before health officials announced two presumptive cases of the illness in Florida, reminding students to take steps to protect themselves from COVID-19 and all other illnesses by practicing good hygiene.
“Now is not the time to panic but rather to prioritize personal prevention and preparedness,” the message read.
University officials offered these tips:
- Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze and clean up immediately.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick, and avoid others if you are sick.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
The school also let students know that coronavirus could potentially impact their travel plans.
“Destinations with large, confined groups of people pose a higher risk of transmission. Travelers should proceed with caution, thoroughly research their destination, and consult with their doctors and UCF regarding any concerns,” a news release read.
There are currently more than three dozen destinations on UCF’s restricted travel list, but the restrictions do not apply to privately funded travel that’s not related to the university, such as in the case of vacations.
Still, all U.S. citizens must adhere to government-issued travel restrictions otherwise they risk being denied reentry into the country.
Below is UCF’s list of restricted destinations:
- Palestinian Territory
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- South Sudan
- Hong Kong
- North Korea
- South Korea
Destinations can be restricted due to health concerns, because leaders in that area have provided support for acts of terrorism or because the political climate is unstable.
China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Mongolia, Italy and Japan are the only countries on the list due to coronavirus concerns.
The restricted travel list is updated on the first day of each month.
Regardless of travel, university officials encouraged the campus community to go to Student Health Services to receive a flu vaccine for free.
The map below, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows the areas where coronavirus is the most prevalent.